Today is our 3 year anniversary so we’re sharing about 5 ways to sustain intimacy in your marriage. This year was a joyful one and we are still quite in love with each other (by God’s grace). The highlight of our year was unanimously our Dominican trip. The lowlight as new parents: scrambling to cook dinner night after night (the whole ordeal – shopping, prepping cooking, cleaning; you already know). Overall, parenthood has leveled-up our relationship because we are discovering a new (and attractive) side of each other in our new roles. We were tested big-time with the baby in the mix. She took all our energy and attention!
What we discovered this year was that our relationship needed to be contended for. The intimacy does not just happen; it needs to be constantly worked on. Here are 5 practical ways that helped us stay connected
Talk to your spouse about everything and anything on your mind. You can’t know a person if you do not talk to them. Starting conversation needs to be intentional because it is easy to assume there is nothing interesting to talk about when you go through the same mundane routine every day. Share knowledge and daily experiences. Get creative! In moments of silence, George and I have a thing where one person will ask the other, “what are you thinking right now?” Then confessions come out. George is usually preaching a sermon in his head or thinking about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I am usually nostalgic or trying to predict the future.
Be Emotionally Transparent
Share your fears, hopes, hurts and desires with your spouse. Open up to each other about the deep and real heart stuff. Let loose your insecurities or hopeless longings, no matter how silly they sound. Be intentional to make opportunity for deep conversations to happen. Probe a bit. God designed marriage to be about companionship so make it your goal to discover all you can about each other. George and I are both able to communicate our feelings clearly and openly to each other – most of the time. Even so, it’s easy for busy-ness to get in the way of the important conversations, leading to stunted relationship growth and a lack of emotional connection.
Spend Time Together
Find mutual hobbies, go on dates, or just be silly together! The key word is to make time to do things t o g e t h e r. In the fast-paced routine of daily life, be intentional about setting aside time to be present with each other! George and I don’t tire of each other’s company very easily. Before, we used to love to cook, explore the GTA together, rock climb, build forts, and meet up with mutual friends. Now our time together revolves around our baby (which we both love) but when she’s finally put to bed, we enjoy watching movies, reading side by side, or talking about our current hobby: “how to take over the world.”
Have sex. Do it often, spontaneously or scheduled – whatever works best for you. God made sex for married couples to enjoy so make sure you are taking full advantage of this gift! As Christians, we forget that sex is not just allowed in marriage, it’s actually a responsibility that we both need to take up. The passionate flame that burned so strongly when you first got married can easily die down when LIFE happens. Busy work schedules, children, and a build-up of stressors can seriously extinguish any desire you used to have. Once again, be intentional (are you sick of hearing that word yet?) to pursue each other physically. Hugs, kisses, and flirting are all ways to build up the hype throughout the day.
Do Spiritual Disciplines Together
Read the Bible and pray together. Worship is the most intimate act we do and this should be shared with the most important person in your life. Be intentional in pursuing God together. Our family gathers together to sing, read the Bible and pray together every evening. We also listen to sermons together (just pop one in the car when you’re driving!) or test each other’s Bible passage memory skills. Incorporating spiritual disciplines like these will act as dams that prevent the waters of idleness, apathy, and worldliness from leaking into your relationship.
The main point: always be intentional to work on your marriage. These are five areas that we feel impacted our marriage most. They have gotten us through this year! Thank you for journeying through this season of life. We are blessed to serve you and to celebrate milestones with you. We’re celebrating our anniversary tonight and hopefully getting all five of these points done!